Ailsa Bay Release 1.2 Sweet Smoke

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Micro Maturation
Hudson Whiskey Casks
Number of bottles
48.9 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
09 Sep 2018 4:09 pm by holborndrinker

Average value

€ 71.36

39 × in wishlist

196 × member ratings

476 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Ailsa Bay Release 1.2 Sweet Smoke

32 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 84.65 points

  1. karloff scored this whisky 74 points Specialist

    Apparently Ailsa Bay is the most advanced distillery in the world. Blokes walking about in white coats and clipboards pushing whisky boundaries with Oompa
    Loompas singing and dancing whilst stirring the Mash Tuns. Well sometimes it's best to keep it simple.
    • Nose
      70 70
      When I first opened this, the first glass was really metallic and medicinal. Now this is the last glass, has it changed? the answer is not much. It has calmed down a little but not to change anything apart from there is now a soapy smell, in fact it reminds me a lot of Imperial leather. There is nothing remotely smoky about this. It is not an awful nose, just not what you would expect.
    • Taste
      72 72
      The nose just transfers down to the taste from beginning to the end. This reminds me of that god awful Edradour Ballechin but not as bad. This has a little bit more to it. What can I find good about it. It's quite refreshing, as in Victory V cough sweet refreshing. It has some spice to it as well as a bit of citrus.
    • Finish
      80 80
      A medium finish and it's the best thing about it because that smokiness it was lacking on the nose and taste shows it's hand on the very death.

  2. peatbogger scored this whisky 79 points Specialist

    My first Ailsa Bay, thanks to karloff for this sample.
    I don't find the Ballechin as "god aweful" as he does, but I do recognise the similarities here.
    • Nose
      80 80
      Earthy and mineral, some close to farmy notes.
      Maybe even some metalic notes, tin, zinc.
      Sweet cold wood smoke that fades over time.
      "King of Denmark" camphor candy.
    • Taste
      82 82
      Initially a close match to the nose.
      It's sweet, slightly salty.
      Tough leather, brackish.
      To me it is ballancing that fine line between interesting and offending.
    • Finish
      76 76
      Sweet, a bit too sweet.
      Again that sweet cold smoke.
      And the camphor candy returns at the end.

  3. Pyromann scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Interesting, sweet-woody, or rather sweet-smoky? (but only slightly). On this whisky I enjoy a wide range of aromas and balance and smoothness in taste. It is a pleasant, beautifully drinkable creamy whisky, which is not very distinctive, but well coordinated.
    • Nose
      Sweetness - a little artificial at first smell, then some vanilla, fruit candies. It gradually develops into earthy, distinctly grass tones. Steamy grass. The whole thing is still tinged with the sweetness. Salinity after a while. Interesting.
    • Taste
      Sweeter, medium heavy, creamy. Pleasant fancy for chocolate and some wine, sherry. This is combined with fine woodiness. After a while, it becomes sharper, tears and turns into very fine smoke - a lot of slightly smoked wood.
    • Finish
      Sweet - woody, pungent.

  4. ConvalRen scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    An excellent follow up from the first release, not the second batch of the first release. No idea what happened there.

    I reckon this is at least 6 years old.

    Sweet, smoky and wet. A rather damp like hay roasted over peat and sprinkled with sweet grass shavings.

    Edit: 2/10/2019

    After reading the above review by MGHOW, I can say it's all lies. My bottle has been opened for nearly 2 months now and it's still fresh, even more fragrant now. Fake review at its best.
    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      86 86
      Fruity citrus with earthy-ness character.
    • Finish
      86 86
      Medium to long. Not wet nor dry. Suitable for pairing with seafood and light red meat.

  5. jykoo scored this whisky 86 points Member Senior

    Young but well aged whisky. Complex and well balanced
    • Nose
      87 87
      Medium intensity, Sweet honey, citrus, blood orange, orange peel, wet leaves, juniper berry, pepper, barley. The smoke is not that strong like burning wet leave.
    • Taste
      86 86
      Medium + intensity, round, sweet, oakiness.
    • Finish
      86 86
      Medium + finish, i like the green tea bitterness finish.

  6. Wtrstrnghlt scored this whisky 82 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      83 83
    • Taste
      82 82
    • Finish
      82 82

  7. Gareth74 scored this whisky 76 points Expert Senior

    If only the whisky was as nice as the bottle.

    Ooof, there’s a headline. But it’s fair. Let me explain. The Aisla Bay bottle is bloody lovely. There’s few bottles out there that match it for it’s simplicity and heft. Best nearest match is the exceptionally classy flacon used by edradour for its cask strength vintage juice. That bottle is a beautifully simple and joyously free from the modern expectation of packaging designed to elicit near paroxysmal online circle jerking from the whisky nerds. A simple glass bottle can be a wonderful thing. Scrub off the needlessly waffly label and the Alisa Bay bottle is a thumper. It’d make a great rolling pin such is its demeanour and proportions. Handy in a tight pastry spot. And the stopper is a bruiser too, packaging wise it’s pretty great.

    But the whisky. The whisky. Hmmm. It just doesn’t quite work. If the bottle is cohesive and considered, the whisky is a mish mash of things. There so many things happening and none of them feel at peace with one another.

    Off the bay the nose it weird. It’s smoky like wood that well burnt and charred to blackened lumps but cold from last nights fire mixed with a coolness and a tar note. There’s a peppery tang, some ginger, a sour note of some sort, some sort of mustard seed or savoury curry leaf, and then there a candy sweetness too. Some match box striker, boiled sweets of indeterminate fruity origins. A little raspberry wine gum. Tate and Lyle golden syrup and a pinch or cardamom. This is all over the shop. It’s nice there’s a lot to take in but it feels like it’s having a frightful time being in its own company. It is not unpleasant, though.

    In the mouth and it’s a boisterous arrival of smoke and sweetness and oakiness and salty peat. A dry, herbal note, burnt sage in the background. Lots of wood and pepper. Ginger and syrup mixed with a good pile of burnt wood and ash. There’s lemon zest in the middle of it all but that gets utterly swamped with wood and ash. It’s not great to the point it wanders towards unpleasant but has the good grace to stop before it actually gets there.

    This is a weird one. It actually tastes like it was designed to taste like this and I don’t mean in a good way. It feels far too concocted, like they gone though a checklist of what can make a good scotch and just chosen the bits they think matter the most.

    This reminds me of the best piano gag in the world where Eric Morcombe played all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. Look it up, you’ll get the picture.

    So, I want to be kind but it’s pretty uninspiring stuff. A great idea, no doubt, executed in such a way that makes everything feel unbalanced and wrapped up in a bottle you’ll probably enjoy more, long after the whisky is gone.

  8. Ficelli scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      84 84

  9. noelc scored this whisky 87 points Member Senior

    Great nose, which made me hungry for more. I was expecting something like a Lagavulin.
    The taste could not deliver on those kind of expectations.
    Once I adjusted those I really liked this.
    Smoky, fiesty when starting to drink and lingers for a long time with a citrus touch.
    • Nose
      90 90
      hint of leather, delivers on the sweet smoke.
      I could smell this all day
    • Taste
      85 85
      Continues with the smoke, fiesty
      it's good, but coming from a smell like that I was somewhat disappointed.
    • Finish
      85 85
      Improves again on the flavor. Smoky long finish with citrus

  10. Foudos scored this whisky 83 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      83 83
    • Taste
      84 84
    • Finish
      81 81


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